AFTER YOU'VE SPENT enough time in the gym, you know what towards of exercises you intentionally skip. It's okay to admit it: you probably neglect shoulders more often than not—especially if you're over 40. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a guy (who wasn’t already jacked, at least), doing shoulder-specific work that wasn't a military press?
If you're working out to move and feel better, however, some dedicated shoulder work should be a part of your weekly training routine. You can do this without overloading the joints with exercises like the reverse dumbbell fly—and you'll get even more from the move by making one small, targeted adjustment: rotate your palms forward as the weight ascends.
You'll add a holistic trifecta of benefits by making this small tweak. For one, you'll hit the sides and backs of the shoulders (medial and posterior deltoids) in a big way. You'll work the inner and upper muscles of the back (trapezius and rhomboids) as well. Finally, the reverse fly is a great functional exercise because it helps strengthen the rotator cuff, the group of four muscles that not only make a joint of the collar bone (clavicle) and the upper arm bone (humerus), but allows the joint to move in any direction.
Done twice a week (3 sets 10 to 12 reps per set), the bent-over reverse fly helps guys over 40 build and maintain strong rotator cuffs. That strength helps the shoulders stay pain free while you’re doing everything from playing sports to putting that stuffed-to-full carry-on in the overhead bin.